November 13, 2012

Let’s Set Holiday Schedules

By Paul Bieber

Simple…you look at the calendar and close on the holidays.

Stupid….The Government can’t tell you you have to close, or you have to pay people on the day you are closed. 

Easy…All employees get holiday pay, provided they have been with you for 90 days.

Efficient…All employees get holiday pay, provided they work their last scheduled shift before the holiday and their next scheduled shift after the holiday.

Forward thinking…Let’s look at the holiday schedule for the rest of this year, and next year.  We can announce our schedule now, giving ourselves and our employees the ability to plan.

Thanksgiving, 2012.  Are you closed on Friday or Saturday?  Are you the type of company that has walk-in, retail business?  Should you be for next year?  Most retail glass shops and just about every fabricator are closed on Friday.  What about Wednesday.  What time do you close?  After about 2:00 pm you are not going to get any productivity unless you are running a production line type environment.  Consider closing at 3:00.  Let the farthest-driving people go first.  If you need to keep a skeleton staff, that is for the salaried managers to be there.

Christmas, 2012.  On a Tuesday this year.  Do you really think you’ll get much work done on Monday?  Doubtful.  It is a big day for industrial accidents as minds begin to wander, shortcuts are taken, and somehow, a bottle of Scotch happened to be passed around the shop.  Everyone wants a long weekend.  Go ahead; close this year on Monday.  If people have a vacation day, they can use it.  If none are left, let them borrow from next year.  Most companies can’t just pay the extra day, understandably.  What if you have a job with a penalty if you don’t finish by year-end?  Then you have to work, but be extra diligent for accuracy and safety.  Try to let folks go by noon. 

New Year’s 2013.  Read the above paragraph again.

Martin Luther King Day; President’s Day; Good Friday 2013.  Announce your schedule now.  Currently, most companies are working on these days.  Keep in mind that you may have employees of many cultures…make sure you know what holidays are important to your employees.

April Fools Day…this is an important holiday in my home…Elaine’s Birthday.  I think all glass shops should close in her honor.  I also think the Mets are going to win the World Series this year.

July Fourth, 2013.  On a Thursday.  Do you want to close on Friday and give a long weekend.  Schedule this now so employees can plan.  Make this day one that can be taken from vacation pay.  Make sure your employees plan for this.

By now you have planned for Thanksgiving, 2013.

Christmas and New Years, 2013.  From a business point of view, the holidays falling on a Wednesday, cause great confusion.  Do you close for the week?  Do you give a really long weekend?  Do you give an extra day or two, and again urge employees to use their vacation days here?  There really is no correct answer.  But make the decision now.  Do what feels right for your business.  We used to let half the staff take Monday and Tuesday off, and the other half Thursday and Friday.  If someone wants to work all the days, go for it.

You can change a scheduled plan during the upcoming year, if necessary.  Some people will be upset with a schedule change.  But then again, some people are upset when they wake up and the sun in yellow.  Changes in your business or the economy will have an impact during the year.  But, it is better to have a schedule and tweak it if necessary, than to have no schedule and fumble around in November as to what your company will do.